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Whose pulling your strings?

You
Someone else
Something else
There are no strings

Strings

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Madness

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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2020, 12:46:01 pm »
Perhaps, to rephrase for TH (and others), how do you "experience" "your" "selves" in terms of his poll? "" for all the other words I might substitute in but feel might unnecessarily muddy the conversation for those not practicing academic level philosophy.
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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2020, 01:30:49 pm »
So cause-effect are relations, but there is something that makes the cause(s) precede a particular effect(s). Whatever it is that ensures the relation holds is the thing-in-itself.

There simply cannot just be relations, there have to be relata.

Right, I mean, I am not the sort of skeptic to claim there are no Noumena.  I think that is frankly absurd.  So, there is/are relata, but what else could we say about them but their relations?  Even for first-person conscious experience, what could we say of that except how it relates to itself?

So, I am failing to grasp the argument in that quote.  The first two sentences, I agree with fully.  We only have access to the phenomenal, not the noumenal.  Then a seeming speculative leap is made, to propose two classes of "aspect."  Which is well and fine, but I don't follow that this distinction makes much sense.  For example, if we take an electron as a having a "negative charge" of course we could say that it has no negative charge in-itself, since if not in relation to something with no charge, or a positive charge, what is its charge?  There isn't an answer to that, as far as I could tell.  Charge only relates something in so far as it relates to anything, no?

So, to then posit that consciousness could not be relational seems unfounded.  Why can't consciousness be expressed in "a language of interactions and relations?"  Could a particle's charge be discussed absent the interaction and relation of other things?  What is "charge" in-itself?  I don't see it as Substance, that is, something which can be explained with no reference to anything else.  Surely the sort of consciousness that is being referred to is self-consciousness and so, at the very least, we'd have to admit that this relates and interacts with itself, no?  So to say that consciousness, as experienced, must be some "special class" of somehow immediate non-interactional, non-relational noumenal relata, I don't know, seems unfounded to me.  It seems to me that the quote posits that consciousness in-itself (which for-itself, as far as I can tell) must be the in-itself in itself.  But all we have is the for-itself of consciousness to inform us of that!

In other words, why are we taking the phenomena of consciousness as necessarily the noumena of consciousness?

Maybe I am just thinking about this in the fundamentally wrong way or something...
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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2020, 03:13:47 pm »
Perhaps, to rephrase for TH (and others), how do you "experience" "your" "selves" in terms of his poll? "" for all the other words I might substitute in but feel might unnecessarily muddy the conversation for those not practicing academic level philosophy.
Well, non-technically, I still feel like that answer is "all the above."

I don't "feel" compelled sometimes.  I do feel the "pull" from myself, from other people and from other things (institutions, customs, etc.) at other times.

So, even from the broadest experiential view, to me, there isn't a single answer.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

The P

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« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2020, 03:43:55 pm »
I am pretty firmly in the "you" camp on this.  You are the sum of all the external and internal influences over the course of your life.  If you see a clown and hightail the other way, it's because you are the person who watched "It" when they were five.
I guess it could be argued then that "It" or the person who let you watch it or Steven King is pulling your strings.  But you are also the person whose mind had a greater susceptibility to being scared by Tim Curry in a clown suit.  And you are the person who didn't confront, rationalize and overcome your fear.
Maybe you can't help it, that's just how your brain was wired through genetics, evolution, creation, whatever, but it is still "you" whether making a conscious choice or not.

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« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2020, 03:51:53 pm »
I am pretty firmly in the "you" camp on this.  You are the sum of all the external and internal influences over the course of your life.  If you see a clown and hightail the other way, it's because you are the person who watched "It" when they were five.
I guess it could be argued then that "It" or the person who let you watch it or Steven King is pulling your strings.  But you are also the person whose mind had a greater susceptibility to being scared by Tim Curry in a clown suit.  And you are the person who didn't confront, rationalize and overcome your fear.
Maybe you can't help it, that's just how your brain was wired through genetics, evolution, creation, whatever, but it is still "you" whether making a conscious choice or not.

That is sort of the crux of it, then, right?  What is the "you?"

But I don't know that I follow your final example there.  What happens if it is the case that you don't make a conscious choice?  Is that still "you."  Let us pretend that you have been subliminally conditioned to salivate when a bell is rung.  The bell rings, you don't consciously choose the salivation, yet, "you" still do it.  So, it seems like, in some sense, in some cases "consciousness" is not relevant.

Mind you, I am not really trying to be a sophist here.  I just think a sort of Socratic Method, whereby we should be clear as to what we are (and are not) talking about (and meaning) is really needed, if you aren't just going to have a superficial discussion where we have assumptions that talk past each other.  On the other hand, Socrates was killed for a reason...
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

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« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2020, 04:04:39 pm »
Yeah, how "you" is defined is key.  Someone can condition you to have a pavlovian conditioned response, but then I'd say that "you" is changed to the person with that response.

I guess we need to define "pulling" as well.  If that connotes a conscious decision, then any subconscious action or response can't be "pulled" by "you."  I didn't really think of pulling as a conscious decision before writing that last bit.

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« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2020, 04:16:08 pm »
Yeah, how "you" is defined is key.  Someone can condition you to have a pavlovian conditioned response, but then I'd say that "you" is changed to the person with that response.

I guess we need to define "pulling" as well.  If that connotes a conscious decision, then any subconscious action or response can't be "pulled" by "you."  I didn't really think of pulling as a conscious decision before writing that last bit.

Well, if "you" is a unity of all things that go into determining your behavior, then I think we can arrive at a fairly simple answer that then, yes, the answer is just "you."

However, I would kind of doubt this was the intent of TH's question.  Or at least, I would kind of doubt it as a sufficient answer.  Because it simply makes the "you" all-encompassing.  In the case, where, say you were somehow unknowingly (to yourself) brainwashed into doing, or saying, or thinking something, there would be a significant disconnect between the you that is consciously experienced and the you that the facticity of the whole case would present.

So, you could have a case where, for example, you think you are making a choice "freely" but were actually "forced to" by compelling things outside your own Being.  Notionally you did it all, but was it you who "moved yourself" to do so?  That seems less clear cut, if you don't accept the fundamental unity above.

Does that make sense?  It seems to, to me.  It's why I can't bring myself to give a simple answer.  That, or just generally being a jerk, maybe.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

The P

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« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2020, 04:42:05 pm »
TH's question is pretty straight forward.  Who is pulling my strings?  As far as I know, I'm not brainwashed.  Any influences I've had put on me, I think I've had the opportunity to accept or overcome; be it advertising, social pressures, indoctrination.
Certainly it's possible for a person's strings to be pulled by various forces, but I think most of the time it's just "you" doing the pulling.

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« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2020, 04:54:38 pm »
TH's question is pretty straight forward.  Who is pulling my strings?  As far as I know, I'm not brainwashed.  Any influences I've had put on me, I think I've had the opportunity to accept or overcome; be it advertising, social pressures, indoctrination.
Certainly it's possible for a person's strings to be pulled by various forces, but I think most of the time it's just "you" doing the pulling.

From an experiential stance, I'd agree.  But I guess I am just apt to somewhat doubt the experiential account.

To borrow Bakker's sort of terms, if it is from "the darkness that comes before" which moves and I can't see what is in that darkness, how apt is it to say that it must be "me?"

It might be me, it might be something else.  Without being able to definitively say what does move one, the question seems open, as to what is in that darkness.  At least, it seems so to me.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

sciborg2

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« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2020, 08:17:49 pm »
In other words, why are we taking the phenomena of consciousness as necessarily the noumena of consciousness?

Maybe I am just thinking about this in the fundamentally wrong way or something...

I'd separate the observations from the observer. Consciousness is the container and "measurer" of relations, by which Smolin means that which is mathematically observable and communicable. Even to say consciousness is related to itself is to express something more than a relation, as it would be an awareness of a relation.

Another quote:

“I am drawn to the idea that relational properties do need an intrinsic ground, and this tends to lead towards a panpsychist picture because the only intrinsic nature we have access to is qualitative consciousness itself.”
- William Seager


TH's question is pretty straight forward.  Who is pulling my strings?  As far as I know, I'm not brainwashed.  Any influences I've had put on me, I think I've had the opportunity to accept or overcome; be it advertising, social pressures, indoctrination.
Certainly it's possible for a person's strings to be pulled by various forces, but I think most of the time it's just "you" doing the pulling.

I agree, but it's actually very rare for someone in philosophy to hold this view perhaps best expressed by Sartre -> "Freedom is what you do with what is done to you."

To me the "what's done to you" is the translation of the agent into a new Possibility Space of choices, where each choice then leads to a chain of cause-effect relations that place the agent in a new Possibility Space.

There are times when I suspect something even "crazier", that the aforementioned "movement" of the agent into new Possibility Spaces is how all causation works...

[it] has even come to be taken for granted that the external account of a thing somehow "debunks" the account given from the inside. "All these moral ideals which look so transcendental and beautiful from the inside," says the wiseacre, "are really only a mass of biological instincts and inherited taboos."

And no one plays the game the other way round by replying, "If you will only step inside, the things that look to you like instincts and taboos will suddenly reveal their real and transcendental nature."
 ~ C.S. Lewis

« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 08:23:10 pm by sciborg2 »

sciborg2

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« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2020, 08:25:41 pm »
TH's question is pretty straight forward.  Who is pulling my strings?  As far as I know, I'm not brainwashed.  Any influences I've had put on me, I think I've had the opportunity to accept or overcome; be it advertising, social pressures, indoctrination.
Certainly it's possible for a person's strings to be pulled by various forces, but I think most of the time it's just "you" doing the pulling.

From an experiential stance, I'd agree.  But I guess I am just apt to somewhat doubt the experiential account.

To borrow Bakker's sort of terms, if it is from "the darkness that comes before" which moves and I can't see what is in that darkness, how apt is it to say that it must be "me?"

It might be me, it might be something else.  Without being able to definitively say what does move one, the question seems open, as to what is in that darkness.  At least, it seems so to me.

As per the above I think thoughts comes from the Darkness, but the arrival of thoughts is different from this leading to a binding causal chain.

At the very least I think one has to concede that rather than a binding chain what we really have is Hyper Chaos if we go with the picture of causal relations as falling into a necessary/random dichotomy rather than dispositional.

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« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2020, 08:38:47 pm »
In other words, why are we taking the phenomena of consciousness as necessarily the noumena of consciousness?

Maybe I am just thinking about this in the fundamentally wrong way or something...

I'd separate the observations from the observer. Consciousness is the container and "measurer" of relations, by which Smolin means that which is mathematically observable and communicable. Even to say consciousness is related to itself is to express something more than a relation, as it would be an awareness of a relation.

Another quote:

“I am drawn to the idea that relational properties do need an intrinsic ground, and this tends to lead towards a panpsychist picture because the only intrinsic nature we have access to is qualitative consciousness itself.”
- William Seager

I'm still not quite getting it here though.

Even if I take that quote and run with it's initial assumption, that there is an intrinsic ground, perhaps we could call that a noumenal realm, I still don't see how this makes consciousness, or mind, fundamental.  Just because you only have access to something doesn't mean that must be the basal noumenal reality.  As an example, if we were in a simulation, and things within that simulation are all you could access, would we then say that this is the base-level noumenal reality?  I'd hardly think so.

[it] has even come to be taken for granted that the external account of a thing somehow "debunks" the account given from the inside. "All these moral ideals which look so transcendental and beautiful from the inside," says the wiseacre, "are really only a mass of biological instincts and inherited taboos."

And no one plays the game the other way round by replying, "If you will only step inside, the things that look to you like instincts and taboos will suddenly reveal their real and transcendental nature."
 ~ C.S. Lewis

Well, here I guess I would ask why it need to be one or the other?

Let's say we have a VR headset.  You put it on and you are inside.  You take it off and you are outside.  Which one is "real?"  Is it not both?  Sure, they aren't the same, but that doesn't mean one does not exist.

In other words, why do we have to presuppose that each is mutually exclusive.  They can both exist, but are different manners of internal or external relations.

Again, I might just be utterly failing to really grasp this...

As per the above I think thoughts comes from the Darkness, but the arrival of thoughts is different from this leading to a binding causal chain.

At the very least I think one has to concede that rather than a binding chain what we really have is Hyper Chaos if we go with the picture of causal relations as falling into a necessary/random dichotomy rather than dispositional.

Well, I still don't quite buy the notion that we are, in fact, in Hyper Chaos (because as far as I understand it, were that the case, thought itself would be impossible).  However, I also do not buy the notion of necessity either, really.

But I think I lack the real grasp to elucidate that further.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

sciborg2

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« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2020, 10:06:52 pm »
I'm still not quite getting it here though.

Even if I take that quote and run with it's initial assumption, that there is an intrinsic ground, perhaps we could call that a noumenal realm, I still don't see how this makes consciousness, or mind, fundamental.  Just because you only have access to something doesn't mean that must be the basal noumenal reality.  As an example, if we were in a simulation, and things within that simulation are all you could access, would we then say that this is the base-level noumenal reality?  I'd hardly think so.

You can be deceived with regards to what is experienced, but you cannot be deceived that you are having an experience of some sort.

But I'd agree that we may not quite be at the level of the Ground just because we are in the realm of the First Person PoV. Though it is hard to think of anything that might be things-in-themselves that are not in some way related to Consciousness & Causation.

Quote
Well, here I guess I would ask why it need to be one or the other?

Let's say we have a VR headset.  You put it on and you are inside.  You take it off and you are outside.  Which one is "real?"  Is it not both?  Sure, they aren't the same, but that doesn't mean one does not exist.

But both the VR environment and the Outside are something you are observing [- they are both "Outside"]. The quote compares the idea that the Ground is insensate stuff vs the idea that the Ground is Living.

Quote
In other words, why do we have to presuppose that each is mutually exclusive.  They can both exist, but are different manners of internal or external relations.

Well aren't the Physicalist and non-Physicalist two mutually exclusive options?

Quote
Well, I still don't quite buy the notion that we are, in fact, in Hyper Chaos (because as far as I understand it, were that the case, thought itself would be impossible).  However, I also do not buy the notion of necessity either, really.

Why would thought be impossible? What makes thought possible in the picture where we are not in Hyper Chaos?

I mean I don't think Hyper Chaos is possible/plausible b/c I think Mathematical/Logical Truths are of the Ground, but for anyone who denies that there doesn't seem to be anything that can challenge the assertion that everything could be contingent.

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« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2020, 01:05:56 pm »
Why would thought be impossible? What makes thought possible in the picture where we are not in Hyper Chaos?

I mean I don't think Hyper Chaos is possible/plausible b/c I think Mathematical/Logical Truths are of the Ground, but for anyone who denies that there doesn't seem to be anything that can challenge the assertion that everything could be contingent.

Hmm, it seems that my initial take of his notion of this super-contingency was not quite what he likely meant.

While I do, in a sense, share his skepticism about necessity and I'd agree that that "laws could change" the only way we'd really know would be if they did.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

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« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2020, 08:28:34 pm »
Why would thought be impossible? What makes thought possible in the picture where we are not in Hyper Chaos?

I mean I don't think Hyper Chaos is possible/plausible b/c I think Mathematical/Logical Truths are of the Ground, but for anyone who denies that there doesn't seem to be anything that can challenge the assertion that everything could be contingent.

Hmm, it seems that my initial take of his notion of this super-contingency was not quite what he likely meant.

While I do, in a sense, share his skepticism about necessity and I'd agree that that "laws could change" the only way we'd really know would be if they did.

Well there's a difference between "can" and "will". If nothing is holding the Laws in place then their immutability is inherently contingent.

One can argue the Laws are immutable by nature but I'd argue we already see this is questionably by observing the very fact that some aspects are probabilistic (the number of photons that bounce back vs go through a window) + the fact the picture of laws looked rather different at the beginning of the Universe.